About two years ago we found ourselves at the Floridian, a bar that Hemingway drank frequently at during his Cuban years. The bard had leaned hard into the tourist dollars in recent years. When people go to Havana, they assume they can spot people salsa dancing on every street corner. Those dancers are paid actors, and they usually hold down half the floor at the Floridian. Also, you’re fighting for any inch of space you can as one tour bus after another packs into the place.
At the corner of the bar, a bronze statue of Ernest sits. He only looks happy.
The visit to Hemingway House in Key West wasn’t ruined by any folklore that I might have picked up on the way. It is a museum, a tourist mill, respectfully preserved over the years. Here is like everywhere else on the island – a thousand places to take the same photos, each loaded with the idea that the energy of a spirited history is charging through your time there.
That spirit isn’t here anymore. It’s time to make something anew.
But at least the weather pretends to be nice.
Writing would be great if it weren’t the only thing I knew how to do.
I publish as much as I can, you’ll just have to wait for the rest.